College Basketball is upon us yet again. As the regular season starts up, I would like to go over some new teams to watch, along with perennial powerhouses that are also locked and loaded to make runs this year.
Duke tops the preseason poll, at the #1 spot. The Blue Devils returned a prolific scorer in Grayson Allen, and made huge pickups with the addition of the Freshman Marvin Bagley III and Trevon Duval. After their Sweet 16 loss last year, Coach K and this squad are looking to make not only another strong run in the NCAA Tournament this year, but a push for a National Championship.
Michigan State follows at #2 after losing to Duke 88-81. The Spartans are fiercely led by the Sophomore Miles Bridges, who many thought would have declared for the NBA Draft after last year. He is a big presence on both the offensive and defensive ends, averaging a double-double so far in regular season play. Miles is projected in the Naismith Player of the Year discussion. Bridges has already proved his worth as an NBA ready prospect, but this year his main goal is a National Championship.
Arizona picks up at #3, with their Freshman Deandre Ayton dominating the center position. Ayton is clearly going to be a top pick in the draft, like all the other players I’ve mentioned as well. Ayton’s ability to grab crucial offensive rebounds and finish well in the post sets him up to not only put up great numbers himself but fuel the team with extra possessions and points on offense.
Kentucky is another team to note, falling to #7 in this year’s ranking. John Calipari’s program is always stacked with some of the top Freshman talent in the country, and this year is no different. Kevin Knox and PJ Washington are both forces down low, and Quade Green provides exceptional play from the backcourt. I predict this Kentucky Wildcats team to make a deep run to possibly the Elite 8 or Final Four.
My biggest wildcard team is Minnesota, at the #14 spot. The Gophers to me are one of the most slept on teams in College Basketball because of one man, Isaiah Washington. At first glance Washington may not look like “that guy”, but I have no doubt that Jellyfam will lead Minnesota to a tournament appearance. His explosive play is like many top guards in the NBA, and his finishing ability is unmatched.
That wraps up some of the top teams and my picks for teams to watch! All of these teams are nationally ranked, and I acknowledge that teams like Alabama that are unranked are projected to maybe make a splash. These are simply the best.

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